Dog training is about the relationship between the handler and the dog. The dog looks to the handler for guidance, stability and rewarding experiences. The relationship between man and dog should be based on admiration and respect, not based on fear. In my opinion, one of the first and most important things you can do with your new puppy to begin this process is to take them on long ‘walks’ several times a week.

These ‘walks’ should be at least 30 minutes in length with no training involved. Take your pup out in a safe area where he can run free and is with you and you alone. Leave him off lead walking with you on a trail, through the woods, or in fields exploring as a team. Let him sniff and smell what he likes. Lead him over logs, obstacles and through cover. You are his buddy exploring along beside him. Find creeks and puddles to walk through as a team. Give him plenty of encouragement, touching and praising as you both go along. This will work to establish the team mentality in your dog and is the basis of creating an attitude of a team player throughout his life.

(These ‘walks’ are an excellent idea for older dogs also!)